Close Menu

Raising best friends intentionally.

All four colors of Cavalier puppies in a line on a small rise.

How we raise puppies

You want your puppy to get the best possible start. Shakespeare’s Cavaliers are raised with a unique approach: a combination of best practices from different puppy systems that leads to a pet that is trainable, affectionate and confident.

ruby cavalier puppy gnawing on a black and tan cavalier puppy's face.
Sonora and Andre. No puppies were harmed in the taking of this photo!

We raise the puppies for TEN weeks. Eight weeks with mom is sometimes not enough. Our momma Cavaliers typically like to nurse longer and enjoy nurturing their litter!

There is said to be a fear period right around eight weeks of age. Some breeders want to get the puppy in the forever home by that fear period, claiming it helps form a bond faster.

We swing with the pendulum on the other side.

Staying in a place they know and love, with their momma and siblings, provides mental and emotional stability. When they go home at ten weeks, they are less likely to develop anxious or obsessive behavior. During those extra two weeks, momma teaches them not to lick or nip, and potty training is reinforced.

We follow and recommend Dr. Jean Dodd‘s vaccination schedule. Puppy socialization can be done along with vaccination in a safe manner, and even Puppy Manners Courses can be attended. We do give a preliminary Parvo only shot at six weeks of age, as a form of precaution. The puppies are not placed on public flooring or on our grass until after the Parvo shot. Before this time, they are in a large area in our kitchen with washable carpet and we remove our shoes before entering. We believe that giving a Parvo-only shot three weeks before a set of puppy shots is easier on their immune system and can help their body absorb future vaccines better. They are introduced to a small vaccine on its own before given a set of multiple vaccines. 

We do a well-check vet visit with them right before sending them home, and their next visit should be a month after that one. They will be due for their second set of puppy shots at 14 weeks of age, and the last set of puppy shots can be given at 18 weeks of age. We take our personal dogs in for their rabies vaccine at six months of age. Rabies vaccination is required by law in Utah. 

So much more goes into picking the right puppy for your family than just looks! Waiting until they are six to seven weeks old allows you to select the puppy that fits your family and your goals. Do you want a puppy that is calm and mellow to fit your relaxed lifestyle? Or would you prefer a playful, medium drive puppy that will engage and enjoy your outings with you? You simply can’t tell at birth.

To give us even more insight into the puppies’ natural demeanors, we administer the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test at seven weeks of age. We truly want your puppy to be the right fit for you and to set you up for success as puppy owners.